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Fall into great exercise weather

Cooler temps means skipping the gym and heading outside



Working out in the gym during the heat of the summer months may be more comfortable than being outside, especially considering all the heat we had earlier this summer.

However, not everyone enjoys being inside and now that fall is around the corner and the weather will be cooler outside, workouts are a more viable and pleasurable option. Outdoor exercise routines can very well be more challenging than taking yourself through a series of machines, free weight exercises or running on a treadmill.

But what do you do without equipment and where can you work out? Washington, D.C. has more parks and grassy knolls than most cities in the United States. Whether you are in the heart of the city or in the suburbs, there is no shortage of grass and green to take your workouts.

Running outside does not have to be your only exercise option. Rock Creek Park is award winning and many areas have outdoor circuits with instruction that allow you to perform a variety of exercises that target all of your major muscles. There are also rolling hills and off-path trails throughout Rock Creek that allow you to vary your terrain, not to mention breath-taking scenery.

I am partial to Meridian Hill Park at 16th and Florida Avenue, N.W.  The park is an outdoor fitness haven and stunningly beautiful with statues, water fountains throughout and a giant lily pond at the base. The top of the park houses an enormous courtyard type “track” with vast grassy fields in the center.

You don’t have to worry about bringing along any equipment. Instead, you can use your own body weight and you can work all your major muscles in doing so. If you want to add additional resistance without lugging too much around with you, then invest in lightweight resist-a-bands that allow you to simulate weight training and offer several degrees of resistance. They are available here and they come with diagrammatic instructions.

I generally start my boot camp program with a warm-up consisting of light jogging throughout the park, up and down stairs and hills and throughout the maze of paths the park has to offer.

I will often continue the warm-up with what I call “stair suicides.” Most would argue that this drill is not in the least a warm-up, but it definitely revs up the body. The gist of the drill is to jog, walk or double step up one flight of stairs at a time and then down one flight. Continue by adding another flight going up two flights and down two flights and then three, etc.

Then we navigate through more paths and hills followed by a variety of drills, calisthenics and body weighted exercises. Think back to your high school gym days and do what you did then – jumping jacks, butt kicks, nausea inducing squat thrusts, simulated jump rope, skipping, side shuffles, running backwards and more stairs and hills.

Add in pushups, dips and pull-ups on the park benches followed by other lower body exercises such as lunging forward and backward, squats, Bulgarian Split Squats (yes, they are as awful as they sound, but will give you buns of steel), squat walks and sumo-wrestlers.

For more upper body work I simulate weight training moves using the body’s natural resistance and you will be amazed at how 40 overhead presses with no weight can burn like hell. It’s usually the men who whine during this phase and we move from one exercise to the next with no rest.

I will integrate intervals into classes so that the heart rate is always elevated and calorie burning and conditioning are at their peak. I leave little time for rest and within an hour we have worked every major muscle including the heart and lungs and everyone leaves pleasantly exhausted.

If you have an imagination you can create an effective outdoor workout and you may not want to go back into a gym anytime soon.

The Mind Your Own Body Boot Camp at Meridian Hill Park, N.W., begins again on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010. Please send me an e-mail for further information.


Bars & Parties

Support HIV research with a drag show

Tara Hoot, Evry Pleasure, TrevHER to perform



Tara Hoot performs at Cherry Sundays on Sunday, April 7 at 11 a.m. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

El Techo will host, in partnership with Cherry Fund, a special edition of “Cherry Sundays” on Sunday, April 7 at 11 a.m. 

This event is a one-day fundraising bottomless brunch. There will be performances by Evry Pleasure, Tara Hoot and TrevHER, with DJ Lemz. All tequila shot purchases will be donated to the Cherry Fund.

The Cherry Fund raises money for LGBTQ non-profits whose primary goal is to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS with prevention, treatment and education, and mental health services.

The event costs $45, inclusive of bottomless brunch on margaritas, mimosas, Bloody Marys and Tecates.

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Bars & Parties

MAL kicks off Jan. 11 with Bootcamp

Mid-Atlantic Leather begins with party at Bunker



MAL Weekend kicks off next week. (Image courtesy of Bunker)

Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend arrives next week with a kickoff event Thursday, Jan. 11 from 10 p.m.-3 a.m. at Bunker. Organizers at Kinetic promise a surprise drill sergeant who will whip you into shape. Joshua Ruiz DJs the event. This event is for VIP pass holders only; visit for details.

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Bars & Parties

A roundup of New Year’s Eve parties in D.C.

Celebrate the start of 2024 in style



Xavier Entertainment LLC will host the seventh annual Times Square NYE Celebration at 10 p.m. at Ivy City Smokehouse. Tickets start at $20 and can be purchased on Eventbrite.

New Year’s Eve 2024 at Lost Society will be at 7 p.m. at Lost Society. There will be unique entertainment all night along with a journey of the senses through captivating light shows and LED displays, music, and bottle service presentations throughout the evening. Tickets start at $25 and can be purchased on Eventbrite.

Busboys and Poets will host New Year’s Eve Open Mic and Party at 10 p.m. at 2021 14th St., N.W. This will be an evening of poetry, live DJ, dancing, food, and good company in a vibrant atmosphere where local artists take the stage, showcasing their talents in various genres. The night will be hosted by the talented Charity Blackwell and will feature award-winning poet Black Chakra. Dyanna Monet will deejay. Tickets start at $15 and can be purchased on Eventbrite

QueerTalk DC will host Sapphic New Year’s Celebration at 8 p.m. at FigLeaf Bar & Lounge. The event will celebrate Sapphic, trans, and non-binary communities and feature complimentary hors D’oeuvres, a Champagne toast and DJ sets by DJ Clamazon and DJ Q. For more details, visit Eventbrite

The Queers Upstairs will host Heels & Ties: A Queer New Years Eve Surprise at 9 p.m. at Aliceanna Social Club. This evening will be an unforgettable LGBTQ New Year’s Eve party where you can sip your favorite cocktails and enjoy small bites while dancing the night away with music from DJ Rosie & DJ Missy. Tickets start at $30 and can purchased on Eventbrite

BuffBoyzz Gay-Friendly Male Strip Clubs will host a male revue that caters to men and women at 8 p.m. at Buffboyzz Male Strippers. The event will be an exciting, entertaining and sexy show of exotic male dancers in that will entertain your pants off. Tickets start at $10 and can be purchased on Eventbrite

International Events Washington DC will host the 2024 Black Tie New Year’s Eve Gala at 7:30 p.m. at the Willard InterContinental Washington, D.C. There will be free-flowing Champagne, an open bar, a spectacular balloon drop in the Euro Discotheque Ballroom and live bands and DJs. For dinner, guests can choose from an elegant sit-down, three-course dinner with Champagne or a dinner buffet of international cuisine. Tickets start at $189 and can be purchased on Eventbrite.

Social Architects will host the 12th Annual New Year’s Eve Casino Night at 8 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Arlington, Va. There will be six rooms of entertainment spread across three floors. The DJs will spin hip hop, R&B, salsa, Afrobeats and old school music. Tickets start at $60 and can be purchased on Eventbrite

Pitchers and A League of Her Own will host a NYE party with complimentary Champagne toast at midnight, party favors, and a DJ all night long.

Shaker’s plans a drag extravaganza with Tatianna and Crystal Edge among others starting at 10:30 p.m.; the $10 cover includes a glass of Champagne. 

Bunker hosts a 12-hour masquerade ball with several DJs, including Joe Gauthreaux. The party starts at 9 p.m. and goes until 9 a.m. on Jan. 1. Tickets start at $45 and are available at

DJ Alex Love spins NYE at Dirty Goose with drink specials at midnight.

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